BRIDGETON, Mo. (KMOX) – A West Lake Landfill neighborhood group is calling on the state of Missouri to run tests to determine if rain water runoff from the nuclear dump site has seeped into a pond where children swim and fish.
Just Moms co-founder Dawn Chapman issued the call, after recent tests by the Missouri Department of Natural Resources found radiation in the rainwater outside the landfill fence along St. Charles Rock Road.
“The state’s recent data that they collected from the storm water runoff does not support the EPA nor the owner’s conclusion that this waste has stayed on-site,” Chapman said, “It does not support that conclusion and it paints a very serious picture.”
The DNR recently reported it found alpha particle activity higher than federal guidelines for drinking water in the stormwater.
The EPA commented on that DNR report, saying it was too soon to say whether the radiation came from the landfill, without further tests.
And the landfill owner, Republic Services, downplayed the DNR report, saying that because the storm water is “not drinking water,” then the radiation levels are “inapplicable.”
Chapman is sounding the alarm that the runoff — for years — may have been contaminating a pond a few hundred yards west of the landfill, on the other side of St. Charles Rock Road.
“It’s just really important that somebody go out there and test it,” Chapman said, “and really, specifically, they need to test on the bottom of the pond, and dredge the mud on the bottom.”
No one was fishing or swimming in the pond when KMOX visited Wednesday afternoon, but workers at a nearby company say they see people fishing there frequently. And Chapman claims children have been swimming in the pond for years.
KMOX was awaiting a response from the Missouri Department of Natural Resources. A spokesman for St. Louis County Executive Steve Stenger says, “We are consulting with DNR and the concerned residents. We are aware of the situation.”
Russ Knocke, a spokesman for Republic Services, released a statement:
“Any tests DNR or EPA think need to be done are fine with us, but this is just a scare tactic by the activists. Whenever these activists demand yet more tests and get them, they dispute the lab results. This site has been studied very thoroughly by many different scientists and other professionals at several federal, state and local health and environmental agencies, and also by a number of independent scientists, and it has always been found to be safe.”